Devyani Khobragade case: Employment of domestic help on agenda for talks with India, says US

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SummaryUS maintains it is in conversation with India to determine the way forward in resolving diplomatic row.

With India hitting back by withdrawing certain privileges of American diplomats, the US on Wednesday said the employment of domestic workers will now be on the agenda for bilateral talks. Washington also maintained that it is in conversation with New Delhi to “determine the way forward” in resolving the two-week-old diplomatic row over the arrest of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges.

“The department of State is in conversation with the government of India on determining the way forward on the immediate case,” a state department official told PTI, as it continued to review the application on Khobragade’s transfer from the consulate in New York to India’s permanent mission at the United Nations. “However, we recognise the need to address the larger issues. The employment of domestic workers will be on the agenda for bilateral discussions in the weeks and months ahead,” the official said.

The State department official’s remarks came close on the heels of India, in a tough reciprocal action, downgrading the immunity of a certain category of US diplomats and withdrawing the immunity enjoyed by their family members.

US officials in four consulates in India are being issued new ID cards specifying the limited immunity that will not protect them from serious offences. This is in line with the restricted immunity given to Indian consular officials in the US.

Khobragade, 39, was arrested on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard.

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